fountain-pen

Childhood Friend

When I was a child, I had a friend in the neighborhood. A smart (and slightly nerdy) kid, not unlike myself. We used to hang out, play badminton and do physics experiments. By the time we were teenagers, we kind of drifted apart, as our paths diverged. Mamaya sa, I went the IIT-USA, global-citizen-route and ended up in Singapore. He, of more modest ambitions, stayed back at home, and got a job roughly similar to what my father used to do. I kept hearing of him, although I never really ran into him. He got married, probably had a couple of kids, and everything must have been going smoothly, even a bit dully. But a couple of years ago he suddenly died of leukemia.

Ang balita ng kamatayan ng isang kaibigan ay isang maliit na bahagi ng isang milestone sa buhay,,en,Ito ay isang paalaala na ang iyong henerasyon ay nagsisimula sa pagkalanta at malanta,,en,huminto at mahulog,,en,Ang partikular na kamatayan ay talagang ikaapat na isa,,en,na alam ko,,en,bukod sa aking kapanahon mga kaibigan at mga kaklase,,en,nagsimula na kami,,en,maglaho,,en,Ang kamatayan na ito ay nagbigay rin sa akin ng diwa ng pagkawala,,en,o kabaligtaran ng pagsasara,,en,Upang ipaliwanag ito nang buo,,en,Kailangan ko bang sabihin sa iyo ang tungkol sa aking kakaibang kaugnayan sa panulat,,en,Nagsimula ito nang maaga,,en,Noong ako ay halos apat,,en,Nagmamadali ang paboritong pen sa aking ama,,en,bilang pabor sa kanya,,en,Pagkalipas ng sampung taon,,en,Nawala ko ang isa pang magarbong pen,,en,na nagresulta sa isang,,en,aralin sa mahihirap na pagmamahal,,en,siguro isang pabor sa akin,,en,Ang matigas na pag-ibig na paggamot ay malamang na umalis sa akin nang nalungkot,,en. It is a reminder that your generation is beginning to wilt and wither, falter and fall. This particular death was actually the fourth one (that I know of) among my contemporary friends and classmates. Oo, we have begun to fade away.

This death also gave me a sense of incompleteness, or the opposite of closure. In order to explain it fully, I have to tell you about my strange relationship with pens. It started early. When I was about four, Ako smashed my dad’s favorite pen, as a favor to him. About ten years later, I lost another fancy pen, which resulted in a lesson in tough love – presumably a favor to me. The tough-love treatment probably left me depressed for a while, at ang kaibigan kong ito sa kababaihan ay may kabaitan at walang pag-iimbot na nagbigay sa akin ng kanyang sariling magarbong panulat na Parker upang mapagaan ang aking kirot,,en,Ito ay lihim na proyekto ng minahan upang makakuha siya ng isang disenteng Parker pan ilang araw,,en,Palagi kong naramdaman na mayroon akong oras,,en,at hindi nakuha sa paligid upang gawin ito,,en,Lahat ng biglaang,,en,Masyado akong nahuli ang aking sarili,,en,Mayroon akong iba pang mga lihim na proyekto tulad ng isang ito,,en,Umaasa ako na ang mga target at ako ay mananatiling buhay na sapat upang makita ang mga ito,,en,Ngunit nakakaalam,,en,ay maaaring ang pagkumpleto ng proyekto ay maaaring isang kabiguan,,en,isang anti-rurok,,en,Kapag ibinigay ko ang aking mahalagang regalo,,en,mabigat na may mahabang taon ng pag-asa at emosyon,,en,ang tagatanggap ay maaaring magsabi ng isang bagay tulad ng,,en,Hindi ko alam kung ano ang iyong pinag-uusapan,,en,asawa,,en,pero salamat pa rin,,en,Sa palagay ko ang regalo ay hindi gaanong para sa kanila,,en,ngunit para sa aking sarili,,en.

It was secret project of mine to get him a decent Parker pen some day. I always felt that I had time, and never got around to doing it. All of sudden, I find myself too late. I do have couple of other secret projects like this one, I hope the targets and I stay alive long enough to see them through. But who knows, may be the completion of the project may have been a flop, an anti-climax. When I hand over my precious gift, heavy with long years of anticipation and emotions, the recipient may well say something like, “I don’t know what you are talking about, mate, but thanks anyway!” I guess the gift is not so much for them, but for myself, at ako ay umaasa na hindi ko mauubusan ng oras muli,en.

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